Hugo Gonzalez Among Five Swimmers Selected for Spain’s Provisional Olympic Roster

Reigning men’s 200-meter backstroke world champion Hugo Gonzalez headlines a provisional Spanish roster of five swimmers who were selected for this summer’s Paris Olympics by the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEN) earlier this month.

Gonzalez will be joined by Mario Molla Yanes (men’s 100 butterfly), Carlos Garach (men’s 800 freestyle, 1500 free), Maria de Valdes (women’s 10km), and Angela Martinez (women’s 10km). RFEN will unveil the full swimming roster after Spanish Olympic Trials scheduled from June 18-22. Lineups for the qualified men’s 4×100 freestyle relay, men’s 4×200 free relay, men’s 4×100 medley relay, and women’s 4×200 free relay were not yet announced.

It will be the third Olympics for Gonzalez, who is qualified in the 100 back (52.70), 200 back (1:55.30), and 200 IM (1:56.58). The 25-year-old Palma de Mallorca native is fresh off his first world title last month in the 200 back, posting his first personal best in the event since winning a world junior title back in 2017. If Gonzalez wins an Olympic medal this summer, he would be the first Spanish man to make the podium in any pool event since 1992 (Martin Lopez-Zubero in the 200 back).

Gonzalez also clocked a lifetime best en route to silver in the 100 back just two hundredths behind Cal training partner Hunter Armstrong (52.68) at the 2024 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. His qualifying time in the 200 IM is from the semifinals of the 2023 World Championships last summer.

Gonzalez wasn’t the only Spaniard who medaled at Worlds last month. The 25-year-old de Valdes made history in Doha by becoming the first Spanish woman ever to make an open water podium at Worlds with her runner-up finish in the 10km (1:57:26.9) behind behind Dutch Olympic champion Sharon van Rouwendaal.

Martinez, 20, finished about 10 seconds behind de Valdes in 13th place (1:57:36.6) to punch her ticket to Paris.

Molla Yanes, a Barcelona native who attends Virginia Tech, made A-finals in the 50 fly (23.29) and 100 fly (51.72 after personal-best 51.48 in semifinals) at Worlds last month.

Garach, the youngest member of the group so far at 19 years old, placed 15th in the 800 free (7:50.56) and 19th in the 1500 free (15:16.00) at Worlds last month. His best 1500 free time from last March (14:57.23) is few seconds under the Olympic ‘A’ cut in the event (15:00.99).

The Spanish Olympic swimming team will be led by former Canadian coach Ben Titley, a British native who took over at the Sant Cugat National Training Center in 2022. At the Tokyo Olympic in 2021, Spain sent a 10-strong team and wound up with a couple of individual finalists, but no medals at the meet.

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Stewart Fenwick
2 months ago

I didn’t realize Spanish men has such long dry spell.

Andrew
2 months ago

Hugo Gonzalez was a 2 time Olympian and still had 2 years of eligibility after the games. The NCAA is rigged

Andrew
2 months ago

Bro is making his 3rd Olympics and just finished his college eligibility lmaooo

Diehard
Reply to  Andrew
2 months ago

Wouldn’t Phelps be the same after 3rd Olympics? If he went to college and if he had a Covid year? Or a Mormon or an Israeli who served in military?

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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